Fixing the nation's healthcare system will begin with implementing electronic health records, President Barack Obama told the American Medical Association's House of Delegates yesterday.
"How do we permanently bring down costs and make quality affordable healthcare available to every single American?" Obama asked. "First, we need to upgrade our medical records by switching from a paper to an electronic system of record-keeping. We've already begun to do this with an investment we made as part of our recovery act. It simply doesn't make sense that patients in the 21st century are still filling out forms with pens on papers that have to be stored away somewhere. As Newt Gingrich has rightly pointed outand I don't quote Newt Gingrich that oftenwe do a better job tracking a Fed Ex package in this country than we do tracking patients' health records.
"You shouldn't have to tell every new doctor you see about your medical history or what prescriptions you're taking. You shouldn't have to repeat costly tests," Obama said. "All that information should be stored securely in a private medical record so that your information could be tracked from one doctor to anothereven if you change jobs, even if you move, even if you have to see a number of different specialists. That's just common sense."